Attenuation compensation for time-reversal imaging in VTI media

Tong Bai, Tieyuan Zhu, Ilya Tsvankin

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The time symmetry of the wave equation enables application of time-reversal modeling in acoustic and elastic media. Time reversal represents a key component not just in reverse-time migration (RTM), but also in source localization using passive seismic (e.g., microseismic) data. This symmetry in time, however, is no longer valid in attenuative media, and attenuation is often anisotropic. Here, we employ a viscoelastic anisotropic wave equation that decouples the influence of energy dissipation from that of dispersion. That equation helps compensate for anisotropic attenuation and restore the time symmetry by changing the signs of the dissipation-dominated terms in time-reversed propagation, while keeping the terms responsible for dispersion unchanged. The Q-compensated time-reversal imaging algorithm is tested on synthetic microseismic data from 2D transversely isotropic media with a vertical symmetry axis (VTI). After back-propagating multicomponent data acquired in a vertical borehole, we image microseismic sources using wavefield focusing. Accounting for attenuation anisotropy in time-reversal imaging produces superior source images compared to those obtained without attenuation compensation or with a purely isotropic Q-factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-260
Number of pages5
JournalSEG Technical Program Expanded Abstracts
StatePublished - Aug 27 2018
EventSociety of Exploration Geophysicists International Exposition and 88th Annual Meeting, SEG 2018 - Anaheim, United States
Duration: Oct 14 2018Oct 19 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geophysics


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